English Expressions

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Re: English Expressions

Message  krystynaD le Sam 26 Mar - 22:27

Just a word of warning ...
Don't call your mother-in-law an old chook, she will NOT be happy ! Mad
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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Sam 26 Mar - 23:31

Hi Krystyna,

No I won't or I won't tell her it comes from you! Wink

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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Dim 27 Mar - 23:13

Hi everyone,

English words I didn't know:

- what-d'yer-call-her[!]
- what's-her-name[!]
- what-d'yer-call-him[!]
- what's-his-name[!]
- what-d'yer-call-it[!]
- what's-its-name[!]
- whatnot
- whatsit
same meaning for all these words or expressions = machin, machine, truc


- Mr/Mrs Whatsit = M./Mme Machin

- whatnot also means "shelf"

- and whatnot also means "and so on"

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Re: English Expressions

Message  krystynaD le Dim 27 Mar - 23:17

Even more pithy is "waddya-call-it" ?

And what is the proper spelling of "what-d'yer-call-it" ? confused
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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Lun 28 Mar - 0:32

Krystyna,

What do you call it? no?

Ya instead of you is Australian. Yer instead of you?? - Could you explain the "yer" to us? Which language or region does this come from?

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Re: English Expressions

Message  krystynaD le Lun 28 Mar - 6:50

Hi Gérard, hi everyone,

I would say that it is British/Scottish.
yer = you
fer = for

Years ago, I worked with Scottish nurses who said yer and fer, but other ones did not say it.
Probably a regional dialect difference of pronunciation ?

ya = you (in Australian)
"see ya" for see you later
"dontchya" or "dontcha" for don't you

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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Lun 28 Mar - 10:20

Thank you for the information.

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Re: English Expressions

Message  MurielB le Mar 29 Mar - 11:38

Hi everyone !
I have just come across interesting expressions with "moon"
Many moons ago
to ask for the moon
to be over the moon
to be in the moon
Once in the blue moon
Do you know what they mean ? Could you add more ?

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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Mar 29 Mar - 17:09

Hi Muriel, hi everyone,

Thanks for the idioms, I add a few others:

to be over the moon about sth
once in a blue moon
to shoot the moon (US)

To moon means rêvasser but... in slang[!], it's a bit différent -> to display buttocks[!] = montrer ses fesses[!].
To moon about[!] or to moon around[!] means musarder.

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Re: English Expressions

Message  MurielB le Mar 29 Mar - 22:17

Hello Gérard
What does "To shoot the moon" mean, please, I can't find it in my dictionary ?

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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Mar 29 Mar - 23:02

Hi Muriel, hi everyone,

To shoot the moon is an informal expression that means to leave the apartment without paying and can be translated by déménager à la cloche de bois ( http://www.expressio.fr/expressions/demenager-a-la-cloche-de-bois.php / http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-definition/d%C3%A9m%C3%A9nager%20%C3%A0%20la%20cloche%20de%20bois ).

It's also an expression used in the card game "Hearts" which consists in gathering all the bad cards in one deal ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearts ).

> I can't find it in my dictionary
When you can't find it, ask Google... here, it's also the title of a song but you can get lots of proper links too.

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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Mar 29 Mar - 23:16

Hi Muriel, everyone,

There are other expression with "moon":

- moon-faced - an adjective used to speak about someone with round cheeks
- moonlight - 2 meanings:
---1- as a noun, the light of the moon = clair de lune
---2- as a verb, it means work illegally = travailler au noir
(UK) To do a moonlight flit = filer de nuit sans payer
- moonlighter = travailleur au noir
- moonlighting = travail au noir
- moonshine = -1-fadaises -2-(US)alcool de contrebande
- moonshiner (US) = distillateur clandestin or trafiquant d'alcool
- moonstruck = lunatique

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Re: English Expressions

Message  MurielB le Mer 30 Mar - 8:17

Thank you Gérard for all these very interesting expressions. I am over the moon to know them :-)

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Re: English Expressions

Message  MurielB le Mer 30 Mar - 10:27


Hi everyone
This morning I was listening to english conversations and I heard an interesting phrasal verb
To hang out. It used to be AE but now it is commonly used in England too. It means traîner.
To hang out= pendre dehors
Let it all hang out= Défoulez-vous.
To hang out with sb= Fréquenter quelqu'un
They are hanging out for a 5% rise= Ils insistent pour obtenir une augmentation de 5%


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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Mer 30 Mar - 12:01

Hi Muriel, hi everyone,

Thanks for these expressions you pointed out.

The verb "to hang" has got many informal phrasal verbs and idioms.
Re hang out, I also have the meaning of crêcher (to live)

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Re: English Expressions

Message  krystynaD le Mer 30 Mar - 18:11

Hello everybody,

For me, to "shoot the moon" means to take a big risk in order to attain a big success

And it also is something to do with a card game called Hearts, but I always lose when I play MS Hearts on my computer !
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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Mer 30 Mar - 21:31

Hi Krystyna,
krystynaD a écrit:... And it also is something to do with a card game called Hearts...
What a coincidence!
I opened a thread this morning and it speaks about this card game named Hearts (cf Sky my Husband!)

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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Mer 30 Mar - 23:36

Hi everyone,

Today, I attended a short Jazz concert with Fay Claassen, a Dutch singer.

I found her English language surprisingly dodgy!

- for example, the CD sleeve read "Fay Claassen sing"
Could anyone explain to me?
I thoroughly looked the sleeve: there was no colon, no exclamation point... why no "s" at "sing"?
What does "Fay Claassen sing" mean??
Is it permitted to poets, singers??
- in her speeches, she was using the word "tune" instead of "song". I checked in my dictionary: the word means melody but not song! She was speaking about what she sang, not about the music of the musicians!
- she also used the word "close" regarding the end of the concert... hm okay I accept to close the session. Smile I'm a good guy!

~~ edit
I may have made a mistake...
The picture of the CD sleeve shows an exclamation point, which denotes the imperative tense!
-> http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=37367
What I was looking at was a poster... scratch
A good point to her is that she published not only a CD but a LP! Wow!

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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Jeu 31 Mar - 23:24

Hi everyone,

It's English as it's written but I was surprised to read "It isn’t too late to make your voice heard."

I wouldn't have written this way but "It isn’t too late to let hear your voice."

I think I'm disturbed by the French "faire entendre votre voix" and its double infinitive.
Is "make... heard" the only way with make?

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There's a petition in England -> Save Our NHS

The drastic NHS reforms being pushed through parliament may do long-term damage to a much-loved institution. It isn’t too late to make your voice heard.

Sign the petition and your signature will be sent to your MP.

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Re: English Expressions

Message  krystynaD le Jeu 31 Mar - 23:30

Hi Gérard,

"It isn’t too late to make your voice heard" is acceptable,

but I would have preferred "It isn't too late to let your voice be heard"
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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Jeu 31 Mar - 23:34

Merci buckets Krystyna !

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Re: English Expressions

Message  krystynaD le Jeu 31 Mar - 23:39

You're welcome-shmelcome ! Very Happy Very Happy
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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Sam 2 Avr - 14:30

Hi everyone,

Krystyna told me several times about a difference between English and French regarding "word" & "line".


I often have to write something like "J'ai écrit quelques lignes sur le sujet de..." on American forums.
My English sentence was "I wrote a few lines on the subject of...".

Krystyna told me that though understandable, it was not the normal English sentence so that my phrase is now "I wrote a few words on the subject of...".
(I am very often participating in discussions on American forums and I try not to be recognized at the 1st word. I try to at least write as well as a Dutch or another foreigner).
I hope I didn't misunderstand her... please Krystyna, did I understand well?
Do you confirm that you rather write "words" than "lines"?

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Re: English Expressions

Message  MurielB le Sam 2 Avr - 15:32

Thank you Gérard for "I wrote a few words on the subject of...".I will remember

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Re: English Expressions

Message  gerardM le Sam 2 Avr - 16:07

You're welcome Muriel.

Of course, the noun "line" does exist but re the frequent French expression : "je vous écris quelques lignes..." (on dit aussi bien "Je vous écris quelques mots..."), or "dans les lignes ci-dessus...", "line" is not the normal one and an English speaking person frowns.

If you look in a good dictionary, you'll see that "word" has got more meanings than in French:
- mot
- ligne,
- nouvelles and in this meaning, it is uncountable
- parole
- rumeur
- ordre
- maître-mot
- bonne parole
- etc.

I don't say that the French items above have to be translated by "word" but that when reading an En text, think of opening the meanings Wink

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